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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

6 September 2022 – Current Affairs

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Freedom Fighter V. O. Chidambaram Pillai

Paper 1 – History
Why Should You Know?                
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi paid tributes to freedom fighter V. O. Chidambaram Pillai on his birth Anniversary.let’s know about him
In details –
  • Valliyappan Olaganathan Chidambaram Pillai, also known as Kappalottiya Tamizhan (“Tamil Helmsman”), was an Indian freedom fighter and former leader of the Indian National Congress.
  • He is remembered for bringing the Indian ship industry a respectable place, but he was also a great freedom fighter.
  • He was severely harassed by the British Government for starting the Indian Ship Company. He was also imprisoned for a long time, where he was tilled in a crusher. Mr. Pillai was a prominent lawyer too.
  • He spent the last phase of his life in literary service.
  • ‘Kappalottiya Tamilan’ means ‘Tamil man who wields a ship’.
Early Life –
  • a Vellalar family in Ottapidaram, Tirunelveli District(Tamilnadu) to Olaganathan Pillai and Paramayee Ammal on 5th September 1872.
  • In his childhood He studied at CEOA High School and Caldwell High School and in Thoothukudi at the Hindu College High School, Tirunelveli.
  • Chidambaram Pillai worked as Taluk office clerk for some time before his father sent him to Tiruchirappalli to study law. He passed his pleadership exam in 1894, returning to Ottapidaram to become a pleader in 1895.
Political life –
  • In the 1890s and 1900s India’s independence movement and the Swadeshi movement, which confirms the politic parcel initiated by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai of the Indian National Congress (INC), were at their peak.
  • From 1892 Chidambaram Pillai was influenced by Tilak Maharaj and became his disciple.
  • Along with Subramanya Siva and Subramanya Bharathi, he became a prominent spokesperson for the cause in the Madras Presidency.
  • Following the partition of Bengal in 1905, Chidambaram entered politics, joining the Indian National Congress and taking a hardliner stance. He also presided at the Salem District Congress session.
  • Later in the year 1906, Chidambaram started an indigenous steam navigation company.
  • In the year 1908, Chidambaram along with Subramanya Siva conducted a successful strike of workers at the coral mill in Thoothukudi. The demands of the workers included increase in their wages, their weekly leave and other facilities.
  • Chidambaram Pillai established many institutions like Yuvanesh Prachar Sabha, Dharmasanga Nesavu Salai, National Godown, Madras Agro-Industrial Society ltd and Desabimana Sangam.
  • On 12 March 1908, Chidambaram and his classmate Subramanya Siva were arrested by the British government, it is said that they were taken hard work in jail. Due to which his health deteriorated. Historian and Tamil scholar R. a. Padmanabhan has written that “Chidambaram was plowed in the crusher instead of the bull and in the harsh sunlight he pulled the oil out of the crusher. Finally he was released from prison on 24 December 1912.
  • After his release from jail, Chidambaram was not allowed to go to his district Tirunelveli. His lawyer’s license was revoked. So he came to Chennai with his wife and two young boys. There he started running grocery stores and kerosene stores.
Written works –
  • Meyyaram 1914
  • Meyyarivu 1915
  • Anthology 1915
  • Autobiography 1946
Death –
  • Chidambaram Pillai spent his final years in poverty. He died on 18 November 1936 at the Tuticorin office of the Indian National Congress.
Stamp –
  • The Indian Posts & Telegraphs department of India issued a special postage stamp on 5 September 1972, on the occasion of his birth centenary.

PM SHRI Schools Initiative

Paper 2 – Education
Why Should You Know?
on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announces a new initiative – PM SHRI Schools
In details –
  • On the occasion of National Teachers’ Day, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced a new initiative – PM SHRI Schools (PM ScHools for Rising India).
  • This will be a new centrally sponsored scheme for upgradation and development of more than 14500 Schools across the country by strengthening the selected existing schools from amongst schools managed by Central Government/ State/ UT Government/ local bodies.
  • PM SHRI Schools will showcase all components of the National Education Policy 2020 and act as exemplar schools and also offer mentorship to other schools in their vicinity.
  • The aim of these schools will not only be qualitative teaching, learning and cognitive development, but also creating holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with key 21st century skills.
  • Pedagogy adopted in these schools will be more experiential, holistic, integrated, play/toy-based (particularly, in the foundational years) inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centred, discussion-based, flexible and enjoyable.
  • Focus will be on achieving proficiency in learning outcomes of every child in every grade. Assessment at all levels will be based on conceptual understanding and application of knowledge to real life situations and will be competency-based.
  • These schools will be equipped with modern infrastructure including labs, smart classrooms, libraries, sports equipment, art room etc. which is inclusive and accessible.
  • These schools shall also be developed as green schools with water conservation, waste recycling, energy-efficient infrastructure and integration of organic lifestyle in curriculum.
  • They will provide leadership in their respective regions in providing high-quality education in an equitable, inclusive and joyful school environment that takes care of the diverse background, multilingual needs, and different academic abilities of children and makes them active participants in their own learning process as per the vision of NEP 2020.

India’s External Debt 2021-22

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
The External Debt Management Unit (EDMU) in the Department of economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, has released 28th edition of the Status Report on India’s External Debt 2021-22.
In details –
  • India’s external debt, at US$ 620.7 billion as at end-March 2022, grew by 8.2 per cent over US$ 573.7 billon as at end-March 2021.
  • While 53.2 per cent of it was denominated in US dollar, Indian rupee denominated debt, estimated at 31.2 per cent, was the second largest.
  • External debt as a ratio to GDP fell marginally to 19.9 per cent as at end-March 2022 from 21.2 per cent a year ago.
  • Foreign currency reserves as a ratio to external debt stood slightly lower at 97.8 per cent as at end-March 2022 than 100.6 per cent a year ago.
  • The long-term debt estimated at US$ 499.1 billion, constituted the largest chunk of 80.4 per cent, while the short-term debt, at US$ 121.7 billion, accounted for 19.6 per cent of the total. The short-term trade credit was predominantly in the form of trade credit (96 per cent) financing imports.
  • Commercial borrowings (CBs), NRIs deposits, short-term trade credit and multilateral loans together accounted for 90 per cent of the total external debt.
  • While NRI deposits marginally contracted during end-March 2021 and end-March 2022, CBs, short-term trade credit and multilateral loans, on the other hand, expanded during the same period.
  • The rise in CBs, short-term trade credit and multilateral loans together was significantly larger than the contraction in NRI deposits.
  • As at end-March 2022, sovereign external debt (SED) amounted to US$ 130.7 billion, increasing by 17.1 per cent over the level a year ago, reflecting the additional allocation of SDRs by the IMF during 2021-22.
  • SDRs rose to US$ 22.9 billion from US$ 5.5 billion as at end-March 2021.
  • FPI holding of G-Sec, on the other hand, slid to US$ 19.5 billion from US$ 20.4 billion a year ago. 
  • Non-sovereign external debt, estimated at US$ 490.0 billion as at end-March 2022, posted a growth of 6.1 per cent over the level a year ago. CBs, NRI deposits, and short-term trade credit accounted for about 95 per cent of non-sovereign debt.,
  • The short-term trade credit rose substantially by 20.7 per cent to US$ 117.4 billion as at end-March 2022 on the back of a surge in imports during 2021-22.
  • The debt service ratio fell to 5.2 per cent during 2021-22 from 8.2 per cent during 2020-21 due to buoyancy in current receipts and a decline in debt service payments. The debt service payment obligations arising out of the stock of external debt as at end-March 2022 are projected to trend downwards over the coming years.
  • In a cross-country perspective, India’s external debt is modest, occupying 23th position globally. In terms of various debt vulnerability indicators, India’s sustainability was better than the Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs) as a group and vis-à-vis many of them individually.

Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Paper 3 – Environment
Why Should You Know?
Recently, Canadian student Annabelle M. Rayson was awarded the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize for the year 2022
In details –
  • Annabelle M. Rayson – A student from Canada has received the prestigious 2022 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for her research on how to treat and prevent harmful algae blooms.
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the official patron of the prize, announced the winner during a ceremony at World Water Week in Stockholm.
  • World Water Week is a conference on global water issues, which started on August 23, 2022 and will go on till September 1.
  • Stockholm Junior Water is an international competition where students aged 15 to 20 years present solutions to major water challenges.
  • Harmful algae bloom plague aquatic ecosystems around the world. They impact water quality and ecosystem diversity, cause dead zones and cost the fishing and tourism industries millions of dollars.
  • Annabelle M Rayson’s father, a commercial fisherman, could no longer fish in certain areas due to harmful algae blooms, leading to her research into treating and preventing harmful algae blooms.
  • The Canadian student learned the concept of biomanipulation and which species of zooplankton was best to treat and prevent algae blooms.
Other Awardes –
  • The Diploma of Excellence was awarded to Laura Nedel Drebes and Camily Pereira dos Santos from Brazil for their development of addressing the issue of period poverty — the inaccessibility to sanitary pads. The two developed sustainable and affordable sanitary pads from industrial by-products.
  • The People’s Choice Award went to Mishal Faraz from the United Arab Emirates, completing the all-female line-up of winners.
What is Stockholm Junior Water Prize?
  • The international Stockholm Junior Water Prize is a competition that encourages young people’s interest in water and environment issues.
  • Beginning in 1995, the award is given annually for an outstanding water project by a young person or a small group of young people at a ceremony held during the World Water Week in Stockholm.
  • The first two years the competition was held on a national level in Sweden. From 1997onward the competition has been held in its current international format.
  • The international Stockholm Junior Prize winner receives a USD 15,000 scholarship and a blue crystal sculpture.
  • The finalists at the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize are the winners of their national contests, drawing over 10 000 entries from over 30 countries.
  • The national and international competitions are open to pre-university young people ages 15–20 who have conducted water-related projects on topics on environmental, scientific, social, or technological importance. The national competitions have helped students around the world become active in water issues.
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is the Patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Stockholm International Water Institute administers the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

India-Germany Development Cooperation

Paper 3 – Science & Tech
Why Should You Know?
Recently NITI Aayog & BMZ hold the inaugural NITI – BMZ Dialogue on Development Cooperation.
In details –
  • NITI Aayog and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) told held the inaugural NITI-BMZ Dialogue of Development Cooperation via video conferencing.
  • Notebly On May 2, 2022, India and Germany signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Partnership for Green and Sustainable Development (GSDP).
  • During the last G7 summit in Schloss Elmau in June 2022, India and the G7 had agreed to work towards a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). 
  • This  Dialogue laid down a pathway to strengthen mutual cooperation between the two countries, particularly  to reconcile the imperatives of dealing with climate change with the goals of Agenda 2030. 
  • NITI and BMZ reiterated their commitment on collaborating towards strengthening SDG localization at the city level and scaling-up SDG implementation in the context of climate change at the state level with capacity building and incentive systems for implementation.
Areas of cooperation –
  • The NITI-BMZ Dialogue focused on five core areas of cooperation:
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
  • climate action,
  • energy transition,
  • emerging technologies and
  • agro-ecology.
  • Both sides deliberated ongoing engagements and identified potential cooperation in areas that can produce tangible outputs and learnings for India and Germany.
Cooperation in Agricultural Sector-

During the discussion, both sides highlighted the need to deepen engagement on the Lighthouse Cooperation on Agroecology and Natural Resources and to collaborate on –

  • scaling up natural farming in India
  • strengthening research in different agro-climatic regions for natural farming practices,
  • working towards standards and certification of natural farming products for facilitating export and
  • evaluating impact of natural farming for mitigating climate change and adapting to climate risks.

Imperilled Mohenjo-daro

Paper 1 – History
Why Should You Know?
Recently Pakistan floods have imperilled Mohenjo-daro’s world heritage tag.
In details –
  • The recent spell of heavy rains and floods that ravaged large parts of Pakistan’s Sindh province has also taken a heavy toll on the archaeological site of Mohenjo-daro.
  • In fact, the calamity has pushed the archeological site – situated on the bank of the Indus river – to the “brink of extinction”.
  • Pakistan’s Department of Archaeology has said that Mohenjo-daro might be removed from the world heritage list, if urgent attention towards its conservation and restoration is not given. Consequently, the administration has banned the entry of tourists to the place.
Importance of Mohenjo-daro –
  • Mohenjo-daro, a group of mounds and ruins, is a 5000-year-old archaeological site located about 80-km off the city of Sukkur. It comprises the remnants of one of two main centres of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation, the other one being Harappa, located 640 km to the northwest, in Punjab province.
  • Mohenjo-daro, which means ‘mound of the dead’, was one of the oldest cities of the world.
  • Known to be a model planned city of the ancient civilisation, the houses here had bathrooms, toilets and drainage system.
  • The sheer size of the city, and its provision of public buildings and facilities, suggests a high level of social organisation. Though in ruins, the walls and brick pavements in the streets are still in a preserved condition.
  • The ruins of the city remained undocumented for around 3,700 years, until 1920, when archaeologist RD Banerji visited the site. Its excavation started in 1921 and continued in phases till 1964-65. The site went to Pakistan during Partition.
Other Indus Valley sites –
  • The Indus Valley Civilisation spanned much of what is now Pakistan and the northern states of India (Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan), even extending towards the Iranian border.
  • Its major urban centres included Harappa and Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, and Lothal, Kalibangan, Dholavira and Rakhigarhi in India.
  • Mohenjo-daro is considered the most advanced city of its time, with sophisticated civil engineering and urban planning.
  • When the Indus Valley Civilisation went into sudden decline around 19th century BC, Mohenjo-Daro was abandoned.
What next for the site
  • According to media reports, many streets and sewerage drains of the historical ruins have been badly damaged due to the floods. However, the work of removing the sediments deposited due the flooding is still underway.
  • But if this kind of flooding happens again, the heritage site may once again get buried under the ground, archaeologists say.
  • It is expected that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will visit the site during his visit to Pakistan on September 11.
  • The visit might provide some clarity on if the site has lost some of its attributes that are necessary for it to retain its prestigious world heritage tag.
Delisting of  world heritage tag
  • There are around 1,100 UNESCO listed sites across its 167 member countries. Last year, the World Heritage Committee, holding its 44th session in China, decided to delete the property ‘Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City’ (UK) from the World Heritage List, due to “the irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property,” a UNESCO statement said.
  • Liverpool was added to the World Heritage List in 2004 in recognition of its role as one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries – and its pioneering dock technology, transport systems and port management.
  • Before that, the first venue to be delisted by the UNESCO panel was the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman, in 2007, after concerns over poaching and habitat degradation.
  • Another site to be removed from the World Heritage list in 2009 was Elbe Valley in Dresden, Germany, after the construction of the Waldschloesschen road bridge across the Elbe river.

Pupil-Teacher Ratio in India

Paper 2 – Education
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Central Government said that Country witnesses reduction in pupil-teacher ratio over last one decade.
In details –
  • The country has witnessed substantial reduction in pupil-teacher ratio over the last one decade.
  • While in Upper Primary schools, the pupil-teacher ratio has reduced from 33 in 2010-11 to 18.9 in 2020-21.
  • The Pupil Teacher Ratio at different levels of education show availability of adequate number of teachers for teaching children enrolled at different grade.
  • The increase in number of teachers in schools is contributing to focused delivery of education.
What is PTR ratio?
  • Student-Teacher Ratio also referred to as Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) is the average number of pupils per teacher at a specific level of education in a given school- year.
  • ; areas having large numbers of socio-economically disadvantaged students will aim for a PTR of under 25:1,

“75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow”

Paper 3 – Science & Tech
Why Should You Know?
I&B Ministry invites entries for “75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow”
In details –
  • The information and Broadcasting Ministry has invited entries for 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow. The segment is an annual platform at the International Film Festival of India to identify, encourage and nurture young creative talents from across various aspects of filmmaking. The entries will be open till 23rd of this month.
  • The initiative was launched last year, as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. It was conceptualised by Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur to provide a platform and connect young talent with the masters of industry from the media and entertainment sector.
  • The 75 creative minds will be shortlisted and selected on the basis of their submissions by an eminent jury, under the aegis of the National Film Development Corporation.
  • This program identifies young budding film makers and provides them a platform to interact and learn from national as well as international film makers during the period of IFFI, Goa.
  • During the festival event in Goa, the selected ’75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow’ will also attend workshops and sessions especially curated by the masters of cinema. Each team will also take part in a group competition to make a short film in 53 hours.
  • The themes of the short film will be based on the spirit of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav wherein the teams will showcase their idea of India@100.
  • The films produced by the seven teams will have a theatrical screening on 24th November this year at IFFI following by an award ceremony to celebrate the winning Film.
Significance –
  • The initiative also is another step in the direction of making India a content and post production hub for the world, by identifying, nurturing and up-skilling young talent and making them industry connected as well as ready.
  • The initiative is nurturing as well as building an ecosystem of young filmmakers allowing them to network as well as collaborate from an early stage.
  • The Ministry has planned to introduce productive interventions so that the participants can utilise this opportunity for gainful employment in the Media & Entertainment space.

New Research fellowship

Paper 2 –  Education
Why Should You Know?
On Teachers Day (sep.5) UGC launched new research fellowship and research grants schemes.
In details –
  • On September 5, 2022 The University Grant Commission launched new research fellowship and research grants schemes on the occasion of Teachers Day.
  • They are Savitribai Jyotirao Phule Fellowship for Single Girl Child, Dr Radhakrishnan UGC Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Superannuated Faculty Members Fellowship, Research Grant for In-Service Faculty Members and Dr D S Kothari Research Grant for Newly Recruited Faculty Members.
  • Speaking on the occasion, UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar said, UGC has been giving research grants from time to time in different kinds of fellowship to enable the reseach ecosystem in the Universities across the country.
  • He said, earlier UGC had formed a committee to review all these scheme and come up with more focussed on reseach and fellowship schemes
About University Grants Commission (UGC)
  • University Grants Commission is a statutory body set up by the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India in accordance to the UGC Act 1956.
  • It is charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education in India.
  • It provides recognition to universities in India, and disbursements of funds to such recognized universities and colleges.
  • The headquarters are in New Delhi, and it has six regional centres in Pune, Bhopal, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bangalore.
  • The UGC provides doctoral scholarships to all those who clear JRF in the National Eligibility Test.
  • In December 2015 the Indian government set a National Institutional of Ranking Framework under UGC which will rank all educational institutes by April 2016

U.K.’s New Prime Minister

Paper 2 – International Issues
Why Should You Know?
UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss has been elected as the next Prime Minister of United Kingdom. In details –
  • Ms. Truss won a vote share of 57% or 81,326 votes versus former Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s 42% or 60,399 votes with 82.% of Conservative members voting.
  • With the win, she is Britain’s 56th Prime Minister and becomes the third female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher.
  • Truss takes over at a time when the UK is saddled with rising inflation and its worst cost-of-living crisis.
  • Boris Johnson was forced to announce his resignation in July this year after months of scandal. Following the announcement, Mr Johnson will meet Queen Elizabeth to officially tender his resignation.
  • A member of the Conservative Party, she has been Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Norfolk since 2010.
  • She has served in various Cabinet positions under Prime Ministers David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

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